Times have changed for older kids who want to start babysitting. Years ago, older kids began their babysitting careers by simply letting parents in the neighborhood know they were available. The idea of getting training, certificates or any other kind of preparation was unheard of. 

How times have changed.

These days, there’s far more publicity about safety concerns. That means that becoming a successful babysitter involves some preparation to assure parents they can deal with the behavioral and safety aspects of the job, as well as any professional issues that might arise.

Drexel Heights Fire District offers a babysitting training program to participants ages 12 to 16. The program includes classes such as fire safety, kitchen safety, child care, poison prevention, first aid, CPR and responsibilities and ethics of babysitting. During the fire safety class, participants will get to use a real fire extinguisher. In the child care class they will learn how to diaper, feed and hold a baby. Participants will also learn how to develop a babysitting resume which they can later use when looking for a babysitting job. The program includes American Heart Association’s Heartsaver level training in the areas of CPR, AED and First Aid.

The program takes two days to cover all the above mentioned classes. At the conclusion of the program, participants walk away with a certificate listing all of the training and classes they completed, as well as an American Heart Association two-year certificate. They also receive some safety items to take with them as they begin their babysitting journey.

Drexel Heights Fire District offers the babysitting program during the summer. Class dates include June 11 and 12, June 19 and 20 and July 9 and 10. The two-day sessions run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The cost for Babysitting Program is $25 for District residents and $35 for non-District residents. To register visit the Drexel Heights Fire District Administration offices at 5030 S. Camino Verde. For more information about the classes, call 883-4341 or go online to

Tracy Koslowski is the Drexel Heights Fire District Public Education/Information Manager.

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